This Day in Pop Culture for December 1

Dr. Pepper was invented on December 1, 1885

Dr. Pepper Begins Making House Calls

It is this day in 1885 that the U.S. Patent Office recognizes as the first time Dr Pepper was served. Coca-Cola fans may be shocked to learn that the soda pop, made with 23 flavors, is actually one year older than Coke. The concoction was created by pharmacist Charles Alderton in Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas. Customers referred to the new drink as a “Waco.” It was Mr. Morrison who named the drink “Dr. Pepper” but the reason why is a bit of a mystery. Theories claim that naming the drink “doctor” gave the impression that it was healthful. One theory state that it was named after Dr. Charles T. Pepper, who gave Morrison his first job. However, it is doubtful that Morrison ever worked for the doctor. Another theory is that the doctor allowed Morrison to marry his daughter and was named in a way to say “thanks,” but the daughter was only eight years old at the time. Another theory is that Morrison once lived nearby a real Dr. Pepper who also had a 16-year-old daughter. A long held rumor was that the product contains prune juice, but that isn’t true says the company.

Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1, 1955 for not giving up her seat on a public bus.

Rosa Parks is Jailed

It was on this day in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama that “the mother of the civil rights movement,” Rosa Parks, was jailed for not giving up her bus seat to a white man, a direct violation of the city’s racial segregation law. During that time, African Americans were required to sit at the back of public buses and were required to give up their seats to white people if asked. Sitting in the first row of the “black section,” Parks refused to give up her seat when a white man demanded that she do so. Soon after, many African American activists called for bus boycott beginning on December 5 of that same year. The boycott lasted for more than a year. 

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